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Archive for January, 2013

Penn Jillette’s Bullshit Detector

January 17, 2013 1 comment

Yea, I liked this…

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Categories: Atheism Tags: , ,

Nature, Powell and the GOP

January 16, 2013 2 comments

First this great post: Scientists hate the GOP for a reason by Amanda Marcotte which rips a post in Nature: Science must be seen to bridge the political divide by Daniel Sarewitz

First the opening paragraph from Nature:

To prevent science from continuing its worrying slide towards politicization, here’s a New Year’s resolution for scientists, especially in the United States: gain the confidence of people and politicians across the political spectrum by demonstrating that science is bipartisan.

I’ll leave you to read the whole article, but in short. It says that the Science should support the GOP more and in return Daniel thinks that the GOP will look at Science as bipartisan and will support it more.

What a load of shit!

Go get him Amanda:

He (Daniel) argues that the perceived liberal bent of the social scientists has caused Republicans to be wary of that field and to defund it, and warns that if scientists in other fields—he names public health and environmental science—don’t stop supporting Democrats so openly, Republicans will come after them, too. But the cause-and-effect relationship is reversed. Republicans started it when, as early as the environmentalist movements of the ’70s, they began to morph into the party that defended corporate profits over public health and environmental good. Why would scientists support a party that ignores and refuses to fund important scientific initiatives like efforts to fight climate change, stem cell research, and advances in improving sexual health, like development of the cervical cancer vaccine? Sarewitz blames scientists for the politicization of science, when any fool can see that Republicans attacked first and scientists are just defending themselves.

Let’s be clear. Republicans don’t attack scientists because they want to punish them for supporting Democrats. If all scientists agreed tomorrow to stop donating to parties, expressing political opinions in public, or even voting, Republicans would not gratefully start agreeing with scientific consensus around global warming or embrace public health recommendations to reduce unplanned pregnancy and STDs. They wouldn’t even come around on the now 154-year-old theory of evolution. They oppose these ideas because they come in conflict with Republican ideological concerns.

Well put Amanda. Just wow!

On another note, Colin Powell has been killing the GOP:

I think 2016 is the year of the GOP purge. The GOP will do something silly, like default the country or something and have their ass handed to them again. The Dems will hold both houses.

At this point the GOP will retool hopefully more to the center and be strong in 2018. At least I hope so. It’s better for all of us to have the two parties with a closer divide between them.

Losing the Faith

I talked briefly about losing my faith at the start of this blog. I can’t say I was ever as deep into being a Christian as other folks. The logical side of my brain just fought against it too much. Still it took me a long time to really make that mental jump to say out loud ‘This REALLY makes no sense. I am an Atheist.’

Knowing that mental block, I really find stories of people who struggled out of their faith really interesting.

Seth Andrews at The Thinking Atheist has a book I’m likely to download someday: Deconverted: a Journey from Religion to Reason

Also, anyone who has not seen it, the series: Why I am no longer a Christian by Evid3nc3 is just a gripping video series that I loved. Below is one of the first videos and is where the series really gets moving:

Maybe someday I’ll talk about my life more, but my story is just not that interesting…

Stopping at the Cliff

Well after much kicking and screaming, the GOP figured it really had to let higher taxes hit the rich and it’s about time. I’m not big on increasing anyone’s taxes, but taxes today are at a very low level for the rich and we have bills to pay. I like this graph the most:

Rich Tax Rates

What would the GOP say at a 91% top tax rate like in the 60s? (Yea, that’s too high)

One of the best comments during this mess was from Norquist via Twitter:

The Bush tax cuts lapsed at midnight last night. Every R voting for Senate bill is cutting taxes and keeping his/her pledge.

Man talk about a lot of BS.

So if everyone would have voted at 11:59 it’s not OK but at 12:01 it’s OK, even though the effect is the same. Grover is just trying to bend over backwards to keep his hold on the GOP and it should show the mindset of these folks and why nothing can get done in DC.

It’s a start. Spending needs to be cut for sure and taxes might even have to be raised more over time. I have to laugh at another quote from Grover:

When the Dems wake up they will realize they just made most of the Bush tax cuts permanent and lost their leverage for the next 4 years.

Really, it’s not like taxes can’t raise more. I think there is room.